UBC’s partnership with ZEBx is part of a regional initiative to rapidly accelerate the demand, design and construction of zero emissions buildings in British Columbia.

In response to global climate change, cities and regions around the world are setting ambitious targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. As a leading green city, Vancouver is responding through numerous initiatives including the Zero Emissions Building Plan – a roadmap that requires all new buildings in the city to be to have zero emissions by 2030. 

Reaching this target will require a rapid transition in how we design, construct and operate our buildings. Accelerating the knowledge and capacity of the building industry is critical, and academic research plays a key role to developing solutions that in addressing these challenges.


Launched in 2018, Zero Emission Building Exchange (ZEBx) is a collaborative knowledge hub that acts as a catalyst and support for the building industry in the transition to cost-effective, attractive, zero emission buildings. To strengthen public, private and civic capacity in Vancouver and British Columbia, ZEBx works closely with a wide range of partners, including industry associations, governments, academic institutions, trades programs, suppliers and global experts.

UBC is a key partner in this regional initiative. UBC’s Sustainability Initiative acts as the liaison between ZEBx and UBC, engaging faculty and students in collaborative research projects with industry and government partners, and supporting the development of regional research collaborations with other climate change focused organizations. 

Our partnership strengthens the exchange of knowledge between academics and industry. It provides a unique opportunity for UBC faculty and students to deliver applied research projects, and allows UBC to contribute our experience in innovative sustainability-focused buildings from Campus as a Living Lab inspired projects. 


The research projects currently under development through the partnership between UBC and ZEBx include:

Zero Emission Building Case Studies: Developing case studies to showcase the key features and lessons learned from high-performance buildings in Vancouver. These buildings are built under energy performance certification programs such as Passive House and include low to mid-rise residential, office, and public buildings such as daycare facilities and fire halls.

Near Zero Homes: An analysis of the common processes, opportunities and challenges of early-adopter, near-zero emissions low-rise residential buildings in Vancouver. This is part of the City of Vancouver’s NearZero program and will inform future development guidelines. 

Bringing Zero to Life: A mobile science exhibit project led by BCIT’s High Performance Building Lab to create excitement and appreciation for zero energy and emission buildings among the public. 

Solutions for Near-Zero-Emission High-Rises: Exploring the most pressing design and construction issues for zero emissions high-rises in BC.